Developing a social media presence can sometimes feel like an overwhelming chore–not so when the social media platform in question is Instagram. Easy to use, quick to yield results and just plain fun, Instagram should be your social media best friend in no time. So what do you do after your account is set up? Check out these five tips that will teach you how to use Instagram for business.
1. Use Images to Tell a Story
Don’t just post pictures of your latest and greatest products or promote your sales. Sure, there should be some of that, you are trying to run a business after all, but your Instagram will fare better if you mix it up with a variety of images; the goal should be to tell a story, not to make a sale. Consider posting pictures of your employees doing what they love to do, or a fun event where your products or services were featured. In short, think about what your brand represents and share photos that are inline with your message. Your potential followers will appreciate the authenticity and the creativity of your storytelling.
2. Follow Proper Etiquette
Just like with all social media, Instagram has its own set of rules. Now, don’t worry, they are not scary or plentiful, but following them is paramount for success. The first is the most obvious–be active! If you post one picture and forget about your account, your business can kiss Instagram traffic goodbye. Post pictures and videos, follow accounts that seem relevant or interesting, reply to comments and be generous with your likes. Remember, no one likes an attention hog, so if you are expecting a lot from others without giving anything yourself, you won’t be successful on Instagram (or in life!) Be a conscientious Instagrammer and make your current and future followers feel appreciated!
3. Take a Chill Pill
As you probably know, there are dozens of articles, blogs and infographics that give you their statistical analyses of when you should post, what you should post, how often you should post and…you get the gist. You may find a few helpful tidbits to remember, but more than anything you will find that all of those charts and graphs are terrifying. Are you a social media failure? Do you even have time for this Instagram account? What does it all mean? Relax! Instagram does not want to overwhelm you! In fact, unlike Twitter, where 24-Hour posting is the only way to be, Instagram has a feed that is leisurely and well-paced. So you can rest easy and post when you have something good to share. In fact, if you post just to post, you may flood your followers’ feeds, resulting in some rightful unfollows.
4. Use Insta-strategy and Insta-Common Sense
Instagram is not Facebook, it is not Twitter, it is its own beast. If you are sharing the exact same content on all three, you are sorely missing the point of brand building. Let’s review: social media is best used when it gives your followers a glimpse behind the scenes or an opportunity for a real interaction. By that token, if you are mindlessly posting links and spouting hashtags, giving no thought to the medium, you might as well just go back to your email blasts.
Think about WHY you started an Instagram in the first place. How does it help your business? Maybe it shows how great your team is, or maybe it illustrates best uses for your product. Whatever it is, your content will be amplified if it is tailored to Instagram, not copied five times across platforms.
5. Perks, Perks, Perks
The best way to get people interested is to give them stuff. It’s as easy as that! Your followers will love you, share your stuff and get you more followers if you give them presents. Instagram makes this super easy; all you have to do is create a catchy hashtag, ask for some pictures to go with it and share with a nice visual background and BAM! You’ve got yourself a contest! If that’s too hard, you can also do giveaways, share coupons or give discounts to followers.
And remember, you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to provide valuable prizes! It’s not about how much something costs; people just want to feel valued and appreciated.
Now that you know these five tips, you are ready to conquer the Instagram world! For more information on digtizing your business, contact us, we love to help.